Racism in China


How would you react if someone treated you differently because of your ethnicity or religion? You would most likely try to stop it. But, what if the Chinese government was doing it? That is precisely what is happening to the Uyghur Muslims in China. The government in China denied they ever had concentration camps, but after satellite images of the camps surfaced they admitted that they had “re-education” camps for Uyghurs. Many members of the minority that went to these camps say they were not “re-educated” rather they were interrogated and beaten because of their religion. 

Who are the Uyghur Muslims? Most of them live in Xinjiang and they speak their own language similar to Turkish and see themselves culturally close to central Asia. They make up half of Xinjiang’s population. The area has seen mass immigration of the Han Chinese people to the region, which is thought to be orchestrated by the Chinese Government. 

So why is China targeting Uyghur Muslims? China says it is because they hold extremist views and point to clips in 2013 and 2014 of attacks that Uyghur militants claimed responsibility for. Another reason may be China’s takeover of what is now called Xinjiang. The Uyghur Muslims protested the unfair treatment by China’s majority (Han Chinese). China said this was caused by separatist terrorist groups and started repressing them. 

So, what has China done to Uyghur Muslims? One thing China did was pass laws targeting their religious practices. For example, China passed laws banning men from growing long beards and women from wearing veils. They also destroyed many mosques (an area where they worship). Another example is they are banned from fasting during Ramadan, which is one of their holidays. Another thing they did was set up surveillance and policing practices targeting them. That makes Xinjiang one of the most monitored places on earth. China has also been accused of forcibly sterilizing Uyghur Muslims. They are also forcing some Uyghur people to do labor like picking cotton. They are even banning Islamic sounding names. They are forced to practice their religion in secret or risk facing persecution.

Obviously this is known, so what has the US done about it? Well, many countries officially outed the act as Genocide including the US. The US also passed a law banning items that were produced with forced labor from entering the US. The US also put sanctions on Chinese officials. 

My thoughts on this situation is that China is obviously in the wrong here. Uyghur Muslim’s treatment by the Chinese government is eerily similar to what happened during World War II with the Nazi party and the Jews. Uyghur Muslims are getting out into concentration camps. They are also getting persecuted by their Government. This is not happening as bad as the comparable in World War II, but it is basically the same concept and is extremely egregious. No one should be discriminated against by their ethnicity or religion. If they are not hurting anything, there is no reason to punish them. Most of the reasons China is doing this are also horrible excuses. China is being what we call racist and we should be angry about it.